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Issue #1583      February 27, 2013

Resounding victory for Correa and Alianza PAIS in Ecuador

President Rafael Correa and his party Alianza País obtained a resounding victory in Ecuador’s February 17 general elections, leaving the right-wing opposition and fragmented small groups far behind at the polls.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa.

With 70% of the ballots counted, reports indicated that Correa received approximately 57% of the vote, almost 40 percentage points more than his closest rival, banker Guillermo Lasso.

According to the digital daily El Ciudadano, Lucio Gutiérrez, the Sociedad Patriótica candidate, received 6.6%, while Mauricio Rodas, from SUMA garnered 4%.

With minimal support were Alvaro Noboa (3.7%), Alberto Acosta (3.2%), Norman Wray (1.3%), and Nelson Zavala (1.2%). Invalid votes cast stood at 5.79%.

After a television interview, President Rafael Correa departed from his Carondelet residence and headed for the now-traditional Shyris tribunal, where thousands of supporters celebrated his re-election to office with a mandate from the majority of Ecuadorans. “We accept this great support as a great responsibility,” he said in a moving speech.

The President assured the crowd that the challenge will be met with determination, since the people have reaffirmed their support for change in the country, and, “We will change it.”

In this context, he explained that the process of freeing Ecuador from the domination of a powerful few will continue. “We will transform this bourgeois state into a truly popular state, we will never allow the homeland to once again be held hostage and plundered by the circles which dominated it for centuries,” Correa said.

He also emphasised the fact that the victory was not solely for the Presidency, but for the entire team which has worked hard.

“No one can stop this revolution,” he exclaimed, recalling the principal axis of tasks which his administration will undertake over the next four years, with special emphasis on eliminating poverty.

Correa announced that the Citizens’ Revolution intends to change the energy and productive core of the country, with its first objective being National Assembly approval of laws stalled by the opposition. Among these are those addressing water, land and communications, although the President said the first to be emphasised is a new law to replace the 70-year-old Penal Code.

As for regional integration, which has been a priority of his administration, the President stressed, “We always think about the patria chica and the grande, (the little homeland and the greater homeland). We cannot think about the country without thinking about Latin American integration.”

He recalled important steps which have been taken in this direction, the creation of UNASUR (Union of South American Nations), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

The Banco del Sur, the virtual currency – the sucre – and new regional financial structures will strengthen trade among Latin American and Caribbean countries, Correa said, and that the task at hand is deepening this integration which is now much more than a dream.

Legislative victory

Ecuador’s right wing forces were defeated in the legislative elections as well, according to preliminary reports disseminated by the non-governmental organisation Participación Ciudadana – with authorisation from the National Electoral Council – projecting that 91 of the 137 seats in Parliament will be held by Allianza PAIS representatives.

This victory adds a great deal of strength to the President’s re-election and will allow Correa’s proposals to the National Assembly to move forward much more rapidly, with the consequent strengthening of the Citizens’ Revolution and the accomplishment of its objectives.

Correa promptly received congratulations from the leaders of countries within ALBA, UNASUR and CELAC, as well as from several European countries.

The President clarified that there will be no censure of the press which has attacked him with lies, but that he intends to “struggle against corrupt, manipulating, mercantilist media.” He stated that the defeat of this type of journalism was another great victory and that the country must become “a society in which the citizens rule, not those who have the money to buy themselves a press.”  

Next article – Coalition sneaks in NHS privatisation

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